Monday, June 18, 2007

It was difficult

Over the weekend I marked some more homework, and I've almost caught up with the backlog now. This makes me happy. One bit of homework made me happy, too. One of my low level students has shown an unexpected gift for metaphor. I am sure many of my students are adept with metaphor in their own language, but very few of them attempt to use it in English, and especially not at that level.

This student did, though, and the result was bizarre and yet ... expressive. He wrote about interviewing an English speaker.

Here is what he wrote:

The man who I interviewed introduced himself as Richard. He looked like smart. However, no matter how good materials are, poor cooks make up terribles. I was a bad cook. While I interviewed him, my eye's were traveling vast universe, and brain was dyed black or white.

I have to study English harder.

The Man tells me that parts of this are almost but not quite translations of Japanese expressions, but he was puzzled by where other parts came from. Upon reflection, however, we both understood pretty well how the student felt. And I gave him top points for trying for something a bit more interesting than, "It was difficult."


Artistic Soul said...

That's an awesome passage!! I love the image of your brain being dyed black and white. lol. I think I felt like that often when trying to speaking in another language.

Carrie said...

That totally reminds me of when I was learning Swedish and the teachers thought I was brilliant because I wrote something that translated to "it was slicker than an ice skating rink." They'd never heard that English expression, I guess.

It's always nice when you have a student who tries to be interesting and is willing to experiment.

kenju said...

Poor cooks do make up terribles! I know, I are one!